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Woza leaders’ application dismissed

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Bulawayo regional magistrate, Godwin Sengweni has dismissed the application for refusal of further remand made by Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) leaders in their case of kidnapping and theft.

Sengweni argued the application to the High Court for stay of prosecution did not warrant their removal from remand.

Jenni Williams and Magodoga Mahlangu filed their application in February at the Bulawayo High Court seeking to have their trial permanently stayed.

They made that application before Sengweni on April 12 after High Court judge Justice Misheck Cheda made a ruling barring the magistrate from proceeding with their trial before the outcome of the application which is still pending at the higher court.

Williams approached the High Court after Sengweni incarcerated her when she came to court ill.

The magistrate had ruled that he had reservations about her illness and she should be examined by a government doctor at Mlondolozi Prison.

However, Justice Cheda granted her a relief against the magistrate.

Sengweni incarcerated Williams after her lawyer, advocate Perpetua Dube, assisted by Godfrey Nyoni and Kossam Ncube, made an application seeking to have the matter postponed because she was ill and could not properly follow court proceedings.

Goodluck Katenaire, for the State, opposed the application on grounds Williams was feigning illness and her doctor’s report was “not genuine”. Williams and Mahlangu, on February 8, also filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking a stay of their prosecution.

The pair wants the trial proceedings to be stayed pending the outcome of their application for review of Sengweni’s ruling in January ordering them to be put on their defence which is also before the higher court.

Sengweni’s ruling came when he dismissed the pair’s application for discharge at the close of the State case.

They are being accused of kidnapping a granny in Njube and stealing a torch at a house in Nketa suburb.

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